The Manaslu is an Mountain Equipment classic, and for good reason. Gore-Tex Pro fabric offers durable waterproofing and high breathability, and is extremely rugged. The three large pockets all take an OS map – and the inner chest pocket is smartphone-sized. Sleeves are preshaped and articulated for comfort, and there are pit zips to aid venting. The helmet-compatible hood is well-fitting with a stiffened, wired peak.
The Manaslu is sized 8-16 (the men’s Lhotse is S-XXL). It’s neat around the hips and waist with room for a thick warm layer and some bum protection from the length. There’s a little cuff movement when reaching, but not much, and the preshaped sleeves increase comfort. The hood moves well with the head, but some pricier options offer a more precise fit.
The Gore-Tex Pro used is a robust and slightly stiff fabric, designed to keep terrible mountain weather out – and this is very reassuring in the depths of a Scottish winter. Though relatively heavy, it’s breathable, and you can use the pit zips to cool down. Not as soft as some, but that’s the trade-off for bombproof weather protection.
If you’re mainly a low-level hillwalker, the Mountain Equipment Manaslu may be too much; but if your ventures include winter forays to Scottish summits, it will suit you well. The three main pockets will swallow maps, GPS devices, phones and anything else you want to keep close. The helmet-compatible hood fits well and everything’s designed for use with gloves. The material is extremely robust. Made for high mountains.
Impressive fabric and excellent features – this is real mountain armour. The price is high but it’s competitive in its market. RRP £330.
The Mountain Equipment Manaslu is a mountaineering jacket with the features and material to prove it. A safe choice for winter. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.